Forward Progress

Coach Tim Hyde needs one more victory to move into second place on the Pali High football program’s career wins list. He has a 44-24 record in six seasons with a share of three league titles.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Football camp opened Monday and Palisades High Coach Tim Hyde will seek to solve the puzzle like he does every year—putting all the pieces together to make another run at the Western League title.

At 44-24, Hyde begins his seventh season with a  .647 winning percentage, second-highest in program history behind only Ron Price who posted a 44-15 record (.746) in five seasons from 1996-2000.

Hyde guided the Dolphins to an 8-3 record and their first-ever City Open Division playoff berth last season, which ended in a tough 24-21 loss at Eagle Rock. The 88 points Palisades allowed in the regular season was its fewest since the schedule increased to 10 games in 1993 and its four shutouts were the most by a Dolphins team since 1969.

“Getting six wins is a goal every year and we’ve proven to be very competitive, which I’m proud of,” Hyde said. “We might lose, but we’re in every game,  we play hard for four quarters and we’re physical. That’s been our trademark since I’ve been here.”

The Dolphins have earned a share of the league title three times under Hyde, compiling a 21-9 mark, but they have never won it outright. That is the goal this fall. Hyde has gone 6-0 against University, 5-1 against both Westchester and Hamilton, 3-3 against Fairfax and 2-4 against archrival Venice.

“This is the youngest team I’ve had, but we have great senior leadership and my job is to find the right spot for each and every player to give us the best chance for success on every play,” Hyde said. “Like I tell the kids it’s not about who starts, it’s about who plays. That’s the most important thing.”

Hyde needs one more victory to move past Price  into second place for all-time victories behind Dick North, who amassed 117 wins in over 20 seasons.

Under Hyde, Palisades has lost 17 games by 10 points or fewer, 15 by seven or less and six by three or less. The margin is even narrower in the playoffs (six losses by an average of 6.2 points).